"Street Chemistry" For Emergency Responders

Emergency responders spend considerable amounts of time preparing for fires, medical incidents, police calls and industrial accidents. They take courses in rescue, firefighting, medical treatment and law enforcement. A large number of emergency...


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The Periodic Table can provide valuable assistance as another resource when trying to identify the hazards of chemicals. Chemistry topics to be discussed in the next article will include: Compounds and Mixtures, The Atom, Molecular Formulas and Chemical Bonding.


Robert Burke, a Firehouse® contributing editor, is a Fire Protection Specialist with the University of Maryland at Baltimore. He is a certified Hazardous Materials Specialist and has served on state and county hazardous materials response teams. Burke is a member of the Earleigh Heights, MD, Volunteer Fire Company and has 16 years' experience in career and volunteer fire departments, attaining the rank of assistant chief, as well as serving as a deputy state fire marshal. He holds a bachelor's degree in fire science and is an adjunct instructor at the National Fire Academy, Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute, and Delaware County, PA, Fire Academy. His book, Hazardous Materials Chemistry For Emergency Responders, was published in January 1997.